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About Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is the awe-inspiring city of Ontario in Canada. With over 120,000 residents, it is home to the largest freshwater lake in the world. Thunder Bay is the ideal destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. Sensational activities and attractions in this vibrant city include scenic campgrounds, conservation areas, exhilarating windsurfing and discover semi-precious gemstones at the open-pit mines.

Cheap flights to Thunder Bay are now available for a limited period, so get ready to discover a thrilling destination! Thunder Bay is home of Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT), which is located 10-minutes away from the city centre. Thunder Bay International Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including Air Canada, WestJet and United Airlines. Popular international flights depart from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Thunder Bay is approximately 23 hours and 53 minutes!

Why visit Thunder Bay

trees in autumn

Nature

Thunder Bay has sensational panoramic views. The nature you can discover is truly inspiring, and affords tourists the chance to escape the day-to-day demands of urban life.

couple toasting glass

Sensational Restaurants

Explore diverse cuisine with a unique northern Canadian twist. Thunder Bay offers contemporary gastro pubs and well-established neighbourhood landmarks amongst its arsenal of exquisite dishes.

hands strumming guitar

Nightlife

You should head to the Waterfront District for some pleasant entertainment in the city. Tourists can find a variety of bars and clubs with great food and live performing acts.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Canada
Currency Canadian Dollar
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.10 CAD
Language English
Hub Airport Thunder Bay International Airport
Airline Air Canada
Time Zone GMT -5
Travel Adaptor Type A and B

Best time to visit Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay experiences a humid continental climate, which is influenced by Lake Superior. The city genuinely feels the heat during summer and the frost in the winter. Summer (June 21 to September 21) is an incredible time to visit, with a plethora of exciting outdoor activities to add to your Thunder Bay itinerary. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park has breath-taking views, with over 100km hiking trails. Autumn (September 22 to December 20) ushers in stunning landscapes, bountiful trees transition into red, gold and rust coloured leaves – what a spectacular scene it is! Winter (December 21 to March 19) has shorter days and extremely cold temperatures with sunshine. Tourists seeking snow should visit the city during this time. Enjoy thrilling activities such as snowboarding, skiing and dogsledding.

Weather & Climate in Thunder Bay

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall level (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C -20°C -18°C -11°C -3°C 2°C 7°C 11°C 10°C 6°C -1°C °C -16°C
High °C -6°C -5°C 1°C 9°C 16°C 21°C 24°C 23°C 18°C 10°C 1°C -6°C
Rainfall (mm) 26 2 31 53 67 84 87 90 73 64 53 35

Overview

The largest city in north-west Ontario, Thunder Bay provides the quintessential opportunity to experience the best of the outdoors life. It is one of Canada’s greatest outdoor cities. Nestled on the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior, and among magical forests, this destination offers the best chance of tranquillity or crazy adventure, depending on what you are after.

It is a melting pot of cultures, from Finnish to Italian; Thunder Bay celebrates its diversity! Enjoy the sweet delicacy called a Persian, which is a cinnamon bun pastry with pink icing, it originated in the city. Tourists are treated to incredible art such as the Magnus Theatre, where six stage plays can be seen each season. Relax, unwind and take in all the awe-inspiring treats that this metropolis has to offer!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders travelling to Thunder Bay, Ontario do require a visa to enter the city. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return date. You should have at least 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.

The nearest South African Embassy is in Toronto: 110 Sheppard Ave East Suite 600 Toronto Ontario M2N 6Y8

Tel: 416-944 8825

Fax: 416-944-0925

Health & Safety

All travellers should be up to date on routine vaccinations before travelling to Thunder Bay and the rest of Canada. These routine vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and yearly flu shot. Some travellers will also require vaccines for rabies, hepatitis A and B.

Thunder Bay is a safe city to travel to and explore. However, with every major city, people should maintain caution.

Safety tips for Thunder Bay:

• Keep an eye on your bag, when in crowded public spaces. • Do not wear flashy jewellery in public. • Avoid walking alone at night. • Practice caution when engaging in water sports. • It is best to go hiking in groups.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Thunder Bay
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R100.00 R100.00 R144.78
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R25.00 R25.00 R53.09
Cappucino (regular) R23.04 R22.57 R40.04
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10.00 R10.00 R24.85
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R39.00 R40.00 R123.54
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